A refrigerator is a machine that stores food at a very low temperature in order to preserve it. It is important to understand how this machine works so that you can properly maintain it.
This guide will go through the basics of how refrigerators work, and the key things to consider when maintaining one.
How a refrigerator works
In order to understand how to maintain a refrigerator, you first need to know how it works.
The main parts of a refrigerator are the evaporator, condenser (which is inside the refrigerator), and compressor. The refrigerant gas (which is cooled at the evaporator) attaches to the condenser, and then leaves it as a gas once again. This creates heat energy.
This heat energy is transferred through the walls of the refrigerator and into other parts of your house where they can be released into the air. The compressor then mechanically re-circulates these molecules into your food so that they can become cold again.
A refrigerator is a necessary piece of equipment in every home to store and maintain foods. Here are five easy steps to take care of a refrigerator, so it can continue to keep your food in the ideal condition.
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- Check fridge door seals: The first step is checking the seal around the outside of the fridge door
- Clean coils like an oven: Next, gently clean any debris off by unscrewing all of the grates and removing them completely. Then disassemble the coils and scrub the inside surface to remove any loose dirt and food particles.
- Make sure freezer shelves are clear: Now it’s time to take out all the items in your refrigerator and check that nothing is resting on the shelves. If there is anything sitting on a shelf or between them, it will begin to melt over time due to the moisture in foods, which can be very dangerous if not addressed immediately.
- Clean ice maker: Next, place a water hose in a sink of warm water with some vinegar in it then wash through your ice maker to ensure that everything has been removed. You can also put baking soda through it, so it smells fresh. Once you have done that, run clean water through the machine to flush everything until the water runs clear.
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- Clean over door space: The last step is to ensure that there are no pools of water collecting under the shelves in your refrigerator. If you find any, be sure to wipe them up immediately to avoid mold or mildew from growing.
- Keep in mind that water is the most important element for a refrigerator to run smoothly. If your water needs a refill, drink at least one quart of water every day. If you need more than one quart there is a leak somewhere in your refrigerator.
- Check your refrigerator’s auto defrost setting at least once every six months, because if it’s not functioning properly it could be wasting a lot of energy and being inefficient. But don’t start re-defrosting unless you have an unusually high electric bill or if you see air around the defrost vents and it’s not coming out through the vents. If it’s not frosting up, there is no need to defrost.
- Check for any build-up around the fan on the back wall of your refrigerator. If you find some, clean it with warm soapy water or some vinegar and water solution. Don’t use bleach or any abrasive cleaners as they can scratch the surface of your refrigerator.
- Check your dials often, especially if one has moved to an unfamiliar position. Make sure all are set correctly according to what food you are storing and that none are stuck in a position between settings.
- Keep an eye out for any black or rusty-looking spots on your refrigerator. These are commonly caused by rust formed from dried food matter (such as a baked potato). If you can’t remove it, don’t be alarmed. The food will simply spoil more quickly and just leave a nasty stain behind.
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- Keep your refrigerator clean and clear with regular thorough dusting. There is absolutely no need to clean the exterior of the unit unless there is a spot that cannot be seen (a stain, for example) or if it looks discolored. Use mild soap and water to clean around the inside of your door, which is often the cause of spots that you can’t get off easily. Don’t use abrasive cleaners and don’t use any oven cleaners as they can scratch the surface of your unit.
- Check your seals regularly to ensure nothing is blocking them. Vacuum them with a soft brush attachment if you see any build-up around them.
By keeping these things in mind you will save yourself trips to the repairman and your refrigerator will last longer and run more efficiently, saving you money in the long run.
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Some tips to maintain the refrigerator
Maintaining a refrigerator is relatively simple. It requires only that you keep a few key points in mind:
- Keep an eye on how often you open the door while the machine is running. Opening the door too often means that you will use more energy. It also means that your food will spend less time at low temperatures and may spoil faster.
- Make sure to defrost your freezer at least once every six months. Ice and frost can build up on your machine and reduce the performance of your refrigerator considerably.
- If your refrigerator has been running a long time, make sure the temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. The temperature may need to be adjusted if it is too cold or too warm.
- Antibacterial cleaner can help you maintain the cleanliness of your refrigerator. Make sure to wipe down your machine with this cleaner at least once a month.
What can damage a refrigerator?
Refrigerators are significant appliances. In order to keep the food of your family preserved and safe, you need to invest in an appliance that will not only be efficient, but also efficient at cooling the food so it can stay fresh.
One thing that impacts the efficiency of a refrigerator is if it has been damaged. Luckily, there are many ways that a refrigerator can damage its own heating system or mechanisms without you noticing anything wrong with these systems.
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Internal corrosion is one of the biggest problems with refrigerators. If the unit has been around for too long, then it can start rusting from the inside out. Once this begins, it can quickly destroy some of the critical parts that power your refrigerator. Then, even with little or no damage to the outside of your refrigerator, you will still see a lot of problems when it comes to cooling and storing your food products.
High power usage
So many people who buy their appliances have great expectations about what they will save on their power bills. So, it only makes sense that they want to find appliances that will use the least amount of electricity possible. Unfortunately, when you purchase a refrigerator, you may not realize how much power it actually uses.
How much electricity does my refrigerator use?
If you do not know how your particular appliance uses energy, then the only thing you will be able to do is to buy an energy efficient model from the start. There are quite a few Energy Star models that can actually help your bills if they are set up in the right way.
Excess temperature and high humidity
Many people like their kitchens nice and cool; however, there are certainly times where refrigerators should not be set at low temperatures. For example, if you have leftovers and you want to store them in the refrigerator for a short period of time, then the temperature will not need to be near as low as the normal operating range.
If your refrigerator is set at excessive temperatures or humidity levels, then that can lead to internal corrosion much like when it overheats or malfunctions. Therefore, by making sure that you purchase an appliance with proper features and settings from the start then you can save a lot of money in costs over the long haul
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